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Discussion Starter · #1 ·



OMEGA, SAILING AND THE AMERICA'S CUP


The connection between Omega and the world of sailing was forged when Omega was the first company to produce a wristwatch that received marine chronometer certification. Eric Tabarly, the French sailing legend often considered the father of French yachting and winner of the OSTAR east-west transatlantic race in 1964 and 1976 used the Omega Marine Chronometer wristwatch as a navigational aid.


While things may have changed in the modern world of satellite-based navigational systems, Omega nevertheless retains strong links to nautical endeavours as both sponsor and official timekeeper of the world’s leading competition sailors and sailing events.

Omega’s sponsorship activities in sailing go back to the early 1990s when it sponsored the Omega Grand Prix of Match Race Sailing. The series grouped together the world’s top eleven sailing events and young skippers like Russell Coutts, Peter Gilmour, Rod Davis and Bertrand Pace used this as their training ground for the America’s Cup. Omega has been official timekeeper for the Swedish Match Cup for a decade now and made its’ debut as official timekeeper for a long-distance event when it was timekeeper for the 1993/94 Whitbread Round The World Yacht Race. In addition, the brand was the principal partner and official timekeeper of The Transat, a single-handed race starting in Plymouth and finishing in Boston Harbour.





The company’s involvement in the America’s Cup began in 1995 with sponsorship of the late Sir Peter Blake’s challenge in San Diego. The success of Blake in two America’s Cup campaigns paved the way for Omega to become the official timekeeper for the event in 2000 and 2003. Today, Omega retains its’ ties with the America’s Cup by being a partner of one of the top syndicates – Emirates Team New Zealand








:)



ZIN







Pictures - Chuck Maddox and Bill Sohne, conradhumphreysracing.com, omegawatches.com, Carlo Borlenghi​



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Discussion Starter · #2 ·

THE AMERICA'S CUP 2007 TIMELINE - PART 1



The very ornate America's Cup and The Louis Vuitton Cup​


The most famous and prestigious regatta and match race in the sport of sailling, The America’s Cup is in addition, the oldest trophy in international sport, predating the Modern Olympics by 45 years. Affectionately referred to as the “ Auld Mug ” by the sailing community and considered the “ Holy Grail ” of yachting, the competition is a contest encompassing not only a tactical approach to sport but boat and sail design, fundraising and management skills. Originally known as The Royal Yacht Squadron Cup, it was eventually named after the first yacht to win the trophy, the schooner America. Indeed a very apt name since the trophy remained in the hands of the United States from 1852 until 1983 when it was won by the challenger, Australia II thus ending the longest winning streak in the history of sport. Dennis Connor did win it back again for the United States with Stars and Stripes and The San Diego Yacht Club then took two consecutive victories until The late and much-missed Peter Blake and Team New Zealand repeated the feat of their predecessors, Bill Koch and Harry Melges. And then, the unexpected happened in 2003 when the trophy fell into the hands of the Swiss-based syndicate, Alinghi.


2003


Mar 2 Team Alinghi wins the America’ Cup to bring the Auld Mug to Europe for only the first time in its’ 152 year history


Mar 3 ...and announces the creation of AC Management as the event authority for the 32nd America’s Cup


Nov 26 Following a rigorous selection process, ACM reveals Valencia as the Host City for 2007. Chosen for its’ reliable weather patterns which will assist in ensuring
that races start on time, the city then plans to transform the commercial port area into a dedicated race village


Port America's Cup and America's Cup Park

The Endesa Light Show

Presentation of the teams

Tom Cruised In ;)
In partnership with Endesa, Group Santander, Alcatel and Ford, Louis Vutton is announced as the Principal Partner for the 32nd America’s Cup.


2004


Challenges are issued and accepted and the official teams and potential challengers meet with ACM to exchange ideas for the contest in Valencia


There are to be 13 Acts, each Act consisting of fleet and match races fought out over the course of three years culminating in the the Louis Vuitton Cup which precedes the final that is the America’s Cup when the challenger, being the team that wins the Louis Vuitton Cup meets the defender, Team Alinghi for the biggest prize of all.



MARSEILLE Loius Vuitton Act 1 – The Beginning


The protagonists – Team Alinghi, BMW ORACLE Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand ( ETNZ ), LE DEFI, K-Challenge and Team Shosholoza


Six teams from five nations compete in the waters off Marseille.
After an event combining fleet and match racing, the team from the United States, BMW ORACLE takes the laurels.




Close racing

Larry Ellison and Chris Dickson celebrate victory in Act 1

VALENCIA Louis Vuitton Act 2 - The Match Races

The protagonists – Team Alinghi, BMW ORACLE, ETNZZ, K-Challenge, LE DEFI, Team Shosholoza, +39 Challenge and Luna Rossa


Luna Rossa and Team Alinghi​

Following the conclusion of Act 1, ETNZ suffer a setback when their boat is damaged. There is a possibility that they may not even compete at the next event when the decision is taken to fly a spare boat up from New Zealand and work furiously at ready the replacement boat to competition standard. Yet the Kiwis take the Act 2 against all odds. Italian Team Luna Rossa while absent at Marseille turn in a creditable effort to place second. An unexpected downturn in fortune sees BMW ORACLE, the clear winners of Act 1 finishing in third. It was close and while Luna Rossa looked to edge it, ETNZ it was who stole it. In the words of ORACLE’s skipper Chris Dickson “ they got the win, they deserve the win ”


ETNZ down but not out

Fighting Back

The spoils of victory

The biggest surprise though was the fourth place finish of Team Alinghi. What surprises would lie in store in Act 3?



VALENCIA Louis Vuitton Act 3 - The Fleet Races

The Protagonists – As above


With racing conditions less than favourable in the form of wind shifts, both in speed and direction it became a difficult day for the first fleet races.




Alinghi and ETNZ do battle again

With the racing split over four days, there was sure to be changes of leadership



Day 1 – Races 1 and 2


ETNZ take the first race having picked up an enormous lift on their side of the course while following a windless spell, Alinghi just slips into first place ahead of ETNZ in Race 2

The result left ETNZ clear ahead on the leaderboard ahead of Alinghi and Luna Rossa



Day 2 – Races 3 and 4

Alinghi shows its mettle as the defender of the America’s Cup by winning one race and showing well in the other to take the series lead



Day 3 – Racing is abandoned as strong winds blow into the Gulf of Valencia. Racing under these conditions was rightly deemed too dangerous so Alinghi retains their lead



Day 4 – Races 5 and 6

Tough conditions again ensued during the course of Race 5 but Chris Dickson’s BMW ORACLE won comfortably from K-Challenge and Alinghi. ETNZ fell back to fifth, allowing the Swiss team to open a three-point gap in the points table for Act 3.


For the first time thus far in the competition, the teams enjoyed perfect conditions in Race 6 as Alinghi slipped into a short-lived lead.


ETNZ once again took control as the teams converged on the leeward gate with a narrow but secure lead to the finish


The season ends with defender Alinghi and ETNZ sharing the spoils, Alinghi claiming Louis Vuitton Act 3 and ETNZ, the championship for 2004





At season’s end, two more teams, El Reto and Victory Challenge, representing Spain and Sweden respectively had their challenges accepted. They join BMW ORACLE Racing, +39 Challenge, Team Shosholoza, Emirates Team New Zealand, Luna Rossa and K-Challenge in the battle to face Alinghi going into Louis Vutton Acts 4 to 9 for the 2005 year of competition.


Pictures - Stefano Gattini, Carlo Borlenghi, Guido Trombetta, Guido Cantini, Francesco Ferri, Thomas Martinez and ACM




THE 2005 SEASON

The second competitive season of the 2007 America’s Cup campaign involved a wider range of teams as Germany and China fielded entries in company with a third Italian team. Mazcalzone Latino-Capitalia joined United Internet Team Germany and Team China making the 32nd America’s Cup the most diverse in its’ history. Competition for the 12 teams would take place in Valencia, on Swedish waters at Malmo-Skane and in Trapani in Sicily.

VALENCIA Louis Vuitton Acts 4 and 5

With Peter Holmberg at the helm, Alinghi stormed through the match races of the opening Act of the season. A perfect 11-0 record in the event. Their expected challengers Team New Zealand and BMW Oracle would have had almost perfect runs themselves but for Alinghi. It seems at that juncture that Alinghi running SUI75 still held a speed advantage which they had shown at the 31st America’s Cup. At the close of proceedings though, it was Alinghi from ETNZ and BMW ORACLE.

ETNZ threw everything it had at Alinghi


but SUI75 withstood every challenge


while ETNZ and BMW ORACLE must have felt they were going round in circles

In the fleet race seen here at the start


United Internet Team Germany impressed greatly on its’ debut by exceeding its’ target of one win. It took three!!


Another star is born as Victory Challenge from Sweden, seen here to the starboard of Desafio Espanol and Luna Rossa


came from obscurity to beat all the low and mid-level challengers and was even on track to finish top of the table in Act 5 when a protest on technical grounds saw them disqualified from one race, thus dropping it to fifth place.


Finally, it was Luno Rosso that eventually emerged triumphant in the fleet racing series with Alinghi in close touch.



Pictures - Carlo Borlenghi and ACM


Next up – The America’s Cup goes travelling



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

THE AMERICA’S CUP ROADSHOW




In August of 2005, the Malmo-Skane region of Sweden was host to the America’s Cup Acts 6 and 7. With over 500km of coastline and some of the country’s finest beaches, it’s hardly surprising that within 90 minutes of the venue are to be found 60 yacht clubs and over 5,000 yachts.


MALMO-SKANE Louis Vuitton Act 6 – The Match Races


The quest for success and glory continued in earnest with points at stake counting towards the Louis Vuitton Cup. As the contest went underway it was clear from the outset that Alinghi was indeed no match for any other team at the current stage of the competition.


Indeed of all 11 flights of LV Act 6, every team took points off the other. All that is, with the exception of Team Alinghi.



Following a strong debut in Valencia the host team Victory Challenge would appear to struggle on its’ home waters. Nevertheless it picked up 4 match wins. Shosholoza pictures here with Victory Challenge won at last


and thus shared a similar total of match wins as Team China seen here going head to head with Mascalzone-Latino Capitalia - I love that name :D


The shock victory of LV Act 6 was the giant-toppling effort of +39 Challenge over ETNZ



Louis Vuitton Act 7 - The Fleet Races



In the fleet races, Team USA - BMW ORACLE seen here rounding the weather mark ahead of Desafio Espanol and +39 Challenge made an early impression by being triumphant on the first day



Once again, Alinghi would be close behind even if like Shosholoza on Day 2, it was deemed to have started early and thus lost time by having to take a restart - Perhaps they should have exchanged their APs for Omegas ;). The die had effectively been cast though as even then, it progressed up the field to once again consolidate its’ points lead.

With bad weather necessitating the cancellation of Day 3, no one therefore was going anywhere

and no one was going to catch Alinghi of which this was as much as most would see of Swiss boat SUI-75 all through Louis Vuitton Acts 6 and 7


Justifiably therefore, the prize for traveling up north went to Team Alinghi


Unless their rivals pulled something magical out of the bag, the 2005 racing season was as good as over.


Pictures - Carlo Borlenghi, Francesco Ferri, Bill Watts and ACM



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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

THE AMERICA’S CUP ROADSHOW – SHOWDOWN IN SICILY

On the western tip of Italy’s largest island, Sicily, is an area with a long maritime tradition through the local coral industry and commercial fishing, yet grand yacht racing was a relatively recent experience for the inhabitants and tourists of Trapani. With temperatures approximating mid 20C in early October and the racecourses being placed in view of the shore, a giant screen, live commentary and more importantly, the initial promise of sun and wind, Trapani was guaranteed a full house for the Louis Vuitton Acts 8 and 9.





The words on the lips of every observer of the America’s Cup campaign in 2005 thus far was Team Alinghi. In the match races of 2005 to date, the crew of SUI-75 had been peerless. Could anyone then challenge the pecking order in this the final acts of the year?


TRAPANI Louis Vuitton Act 8 - The Match Races

The star of Italy on Day 1 was Luna Rossa heading China Team and local favourites +39 Challenge to end up in a group of five with two wins a piece




Then as the benign early conditions were replaced heavy winds, gusts in the squalls reaching 20 knots including metre and a half swells it was inevitable that there would be breakages and problems throughout the fleet.






Shosholoza unable to hoist its’ mainsail prior to a match against Alinghi handed the competition’s first walkover to the Swiss team. K-Challenge saw their headsail fall to the deck and later had to pull out of their second match against Luna Rossa

Spinnaker problems befell just about everyone




though at least with three wins in the match races, Shosholoza can claim to have outperformed their rookie status.



Alinghi seemed impervious to problems of nature or the competition until the final day of Louis Vuitton Act8, when the Swiss team, perfect all year at match races was slayed first by K-Challenge


and then by Chris Dickson and BMW ORACLE.


The onset of problems or ill fortune, inspired racing or tactical errors and Alinghi's double defeat on Day 6 resulted in a four-way tie at the top of the rankings between
BMW ORACLE and ETNZ

and Alinghi and Lunna Rossa



To break the tie, the records of these four teams against each other were first isolated thereby breaking the teams into two divisions, with Alinghi and ETNZ each earning two points from their matches against the other three, and Luna Rossa and BMW ORACLE Racing each having just one. Then their head to head records were compared and as Alinghi had beaten ETNZ in their match, so they would win Louis Vuitton Act 8, with the Kiwis in second place. Luna Rossa beat BMW ORACLE in their match so the Italians were third and the Americans came in fourth.


By the slimmest of margins therefore, Alinghi would win the four-way 9-2 tie between the four leading teams in the waters off the coast of Sicily



TRAPANI Louis Vuitton Act 9 – The Fleet Race

The eagerly awaited fleet races began on October 7



with BMW ORACLE moving into an early lead


before Alinghi started its’ fightback

The racing was furious

and close


and in the end BMW ORACLE and Alinghi, having taken two wins each in a no-quarter-given contest


set up another tiebreaker following a thrilling end to the final race, which was won on the final run when Desafio Espanol squeezed ahead of BMW ORACLE and Alinghi



On yet another tiebreak Alinghi edged out the opposition to be the winner, this time of Louis Vuitton Act 9.




leaving the 2005 championship in no doubt [/color]






Pictures - Carlo Borlenghi, Francesco Ferri, ACM




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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
THE AMERICA’S CUP - REGROUPING FOR BATTLE


THE 2006 SEASON

With the tour leg of the contest over, teams resumed their preparations after Christmas with new boats arriving in the spring. Now bigger and better with new facilities, Port America’s Cup in Valencia became an intense hive of activity as the defender and challengers met in May for Louis Vuitton Acts 10 and 11


Louis Vuitton Act 10 - The Match Races

The new boats were right on the mark as Luna Rossa’s ITA 86 and ETNZ’s NZL-84 took comfortable wins as did the radical new boat USA 87. Most exciting action of Day 1 was reserved for the home team Desafio Espanol which overcame a double penalty to come home over a minute ahead of +39 Challenge and this in their old boat as ESP 88 was only to be christened the next day.




Going midway into LVA 10, BMW ORACLE remained the only unbeatened team with USA 87 as an engaging match with ETNZ was resolved when the red spinnaker on NZL-84 tore to shreds following an ambitious gybe technique.


In the meantime, Alinghi fell to Luna Rossa


As the teams headed towards the conclusion of LVA10, BMW ORACLE it was that came out on top


with Luna Rossa just edging ETNZ when the Kiwi’s lightly-built red spinnaker loaded up and blew.



In fourth place then was Alinghi followed by the home team

BMW therefore tops Louis Vuitton Act 10


but stay behind ETNZ and Alinghi in the championship


while ETNZ head the challengers in the Louis Vuitton Rankings


Louis Vuitton Act 11 - The Fleet Races





The competition opened to a very tricky day with changing light, wind and water conditions to the extent that teams doing well in the first race ended up at the wrong end of the classification at the conclusion of Race 2, none of which bothered Alinghi very much as the combination of its’ aggregate positions was enough to give SUI-75 top spot at the end of the first day.



Day 2 saw Alinghi, seen here with Luna Rossa extend its’ lead while Luna Rossa’s win in the second race placed them just behind the Swiss.



Good racing conditions on the third day gave Alinghi an opportunity to extend its’ lead and thus come home victorious in Act 11





with Luna Rossa pictured here just squeezing ahead of ETNZ and BMW ORACLE




setting up the championship as follows



and the league of extraordinary challengers ;)




Pictures – Carlo Borlenghi, Francesco Ferri, Stefano Gattini, Miracle Candela, ACM​



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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
THE AMERICA’S CUP - THE 2006 SEASON FINALE



VALENCIA - Louis Vuitton Act 12

The closing Act of the 2006 season was billed as a mini preview of the Louis Vuitton Cup to be held in 2007 since the format included a round robin which progressed onto a semi-final before the final match.



The Round Robin Matches

In perfect conditions, all the big teams won their matches to maintain the status quo while Desafio Espanol were the only team to use their new boat,


to a mixed reception as it won the first two races but lost the next two.

Fierce battles would ensue between Alinghi and BMW ORACLE


and ETNZ and Luna Rossa


The shock of the event was when Victory Challenge of Sweden beat Alinghi despite a fluffed spinnaker drop


leaving ETNZ as the the only team with a perfect record


Day 6 provided yet another thrilling set-to as Luna Rossa overcame a 27sec deficit and BMW ORACLE by finding a favourable shift on their side of the final run


As the Round Robin contests drew to their conclusion, through treacherous conditions on a difficult day of shifting winds and variable pressure, ETNZ made bold decisions to build handy leads which resulted in wins in excess of a minute each, over both BMW and Alinghi.


It was a perfect score therefore for ETNZ in the Round Robin portion of Louis Vuitton Act 12, the achievement of which allowed them the right to pick their opponent for the next stage, the semi-final which would yield the finalists and the battle for the remaining positions


The Semi-Final


Alinghi won both its’ matches with Luna Rossa to advance into the final but BMW ORACLE seen here battling Luna Rossa


and ETNZ


drew one victory each necessitating a rematch which was so closely fought that no boat ever had a lead greater than two boatlengths.


In a see-sawing battle that ensued


ETNZ eventually slipped across the line with an 11 second advantage,


setting up a “ best of three ” final showdown with Alinghi

while BMW ORACLE clashed with Luna Rossa in the fight for third place


with the following result that was referred to The Jury



which finally cleared BMW ORACLE of any wrongdoing.


The Final


ETNZ might well have taken an early lead in the final, having held a small advantage over Alinghi until the leeward approach when a poorly executed gybe handed the lead to Alinghi. However, ETNZ would seize the advantage again in the second race and undaunted by Alnghi's challenges, extended their lead on their way to victory.


Hence with a win each in the final,


the fight went to a third and final match decider which was won by ETNZ


which made the Kiwi team undisputed winners of Louis Vuitton Act 12 and the 2006 ACC championship



As the champagne is ushered in and awards made,



Emirates Team New Zealand, looking better than ever sit atop every ranking at the end of 2006

The ACC Championship


and the Louis Vuitton Ranking Summary




Pictures - Carlo Borlenghi,, Francesco Ferri, Stefano Gattini, Vicent Bosch, ACM​



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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
THE AMERICA’S CUP - THE FINAL SEASON


YEAR 2007

With the big prize awaiting both defender and the challenger in June, the teams lined up for what would be the final supporting acts for the America’s Cup in Louis Vuitton Act 13 and the Louis Vuitton Cup itself.


Louis Vuitton Act 13

comprising a series of fleet races began in variable weather forcing changes to the leaderboard on each leg of the course but not before Alinghi had been forced to take a restart for arriving too early at the startline.



Sizeable wind shifts took their toll of competitors, breaking spinnakers,


shattering dreams and masts


denying longtime leader +39 Challenge who suffered a broken spinnaker on day 1 and falling mast on Day 2 allowing BMW ORACLE to sail from 7th to 1st place in the final run ahead of Shosholoza and Mascalzone-Latino Capitalia.



Bad weather again forced the abandonment of more than a day’s racing in the midst of which Alinghi took three consecutive wins



while ETNZ seen here all but obscured by the swells, pipped Luna Rossa and registered their first victory of the year in Race 5,



On the final day after the torrential downpours and fickle winds had cleared, it was Desafio Espanol who outpointed the big teams to finish ahead



while Alinghi took another win to place first in Louis Vuitton 13 ahead of ETNZ which left the Swiss Team ahead in Act 13 and ETNZ heading the challengers squaring off in the Louis Vuitton Cup.






Louis Vuitton Cup


The 2007 competition for the right to challenge Defender Alinghi followed the nightly celebrations


and was split into two round robin series which unsurprisingly saw ETNZ,


BMW ORACLE



Luna Rossa



and Desafio Espanol


going into the semi finals where surprisingly

Luna Rossa headed BMW ORACLE 5-1

and ETNZ defeated the home team 5-2

which left ETNZ and Luna Rossa to fight it out for the trophy



In the final though, ETNZ turned on the power and sailed away from the competition with 5 consecutive victories,

thus setting the stage for June 23rd when it would meet Alinghi for the oldest sporting trophy in the world










Pictures – Carlo Borlenghi, Stefano Gattini, Guido Trombetta, Carlos Lujan, ACM



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Discussion Starter · #8 ·


THE 32nd AMERICA’S CUP - The Fight Is On

The first weekend of the top prize in racing was eagerly anticipated with Valencia and Port America’s Cup swelled to to brim with visitors on foot



and in boats



Much speculation centred around the speed advantage of the new as yet unraced SUI-100 of Team Alinghi. Emirates Team New Zealand however were relying on NZL-92, which had given them victory in the Louis Vuitton Cup as both the defender SUI-100 and the challenger NZL-92, sailing with their spare boats headed out to open waters.




Race One - Saturday June 23



At the start though it was Emirates Team New Zealand who crossed the start one second ahead and maintained an early lead for the first few minutes but SUI 100 which was tucked in tight to leeward was able to squeeze up to windward, thus closing the gap and forcing ETNZ to tack away. When they came up to the first cross, Alinghi took the all important lead



Alinghi soon converted the small lead into a big advantage by pushing ETNZ towards the right hand layline thus forcing the Kiwis into the role of “ follow the leader ”


At the conclusion of the first leg, Alinghi was ahead by 13 secs


Alinghi navigator Juan Vila considers this the key moment of the race –

“ We were happy to start to leeward of them,” he said. “It was very close at the beginning for quite a while but then they had to tack away and we had a nice left shift. That was the key of the first beat. From then onwards we just tried to close off any possibilities of them passing us".


From then on Alinghi maintained a strong pace and when the conditions were unfavourable, instead of being held by ETNZ, they were instead even stronger. ETNZ did close up for a brief moment but it was Alinghi that went on to extend the gap and the advantage line eventually went out to over 150m, giving them a winning margin of 35 seconds.

From the first pass, there was only one team in it –



Was SUI 100 the faster boat then? While the evidence of a single race victory was inconclusive, it did seem that the boat may be configured to work better in difficult conditions. One thing is clear though, ETNZ would need to get back on terms before rest day on Monday since a second consecutive win by Alinghi could be critical for the Kiwis' chances.


Race Two – Sunday June 24


With the pressure on to pull back on Alinghi’s early lead, ETNZ headed out to a huge gathering of support



and pursued an aggressive prestart but Alinghi was ready to cover that as both helmsmen fought for the right. Dean Barker seized the advantage and forced Ed Baird to tack. ETNZ then followed Alinghi into a tack and moved to the right of the Swiss boat, determined to win the starting line.


As both boats sped towards the final approach it was NZL-92 that was faster and crossed the line 3 seconds ahead of Alinghi. Then as the winds dropped and the Kiwis must have sensed a chance opening to them


However as in the previous day SUI-100 came on stronger than NZL-92



and began to edge forward with the Kiwis having to tack as they could not maintain position. At the first cross therefore it was Alinghi with a two boatlength advantage



and by the first mark, they were19seconds to the good.


The Kiwis, knowing it was now or never attacked downwind and pulled back 6
seconds by the leeward gate



where Alinghi went left and NZL-92 took the right hand for their approach to the gate. Then the boats swapped sides and Alinghi, confident in their ability to turn on the speed preferred to concentrate on protecting his right.



This however backfired and ETNZ came in from the left



and was soon level pegging, forcing Alinghi to tack to leeward


The Kiwis held on, tacked to the right and gradually their advantage line grew




leaving Alinghi behind.



Alinghi fought back throwing as many gybes as was possible in an attempt to get around the Kiwis but as the finish drew closer, it was a gap too far so Dean Barker brought Emirates Team New Zealand home, squaring the contest at one victory apiece



only this time, it was ETNZ who put the defender in the shade.




It was nothing more than they deserved and everything they needed.




The last word then to Ray Davies, Strategist of ETNZ who said,

“For sure it’s huge for the team to come back from behind. That’s always a huge booster and there is nothing worse than going into a day off on a loss because the only way to recover from a loss is to get back out there and redeem yourself. So it’s just been huge for the team to square it all up again and get a win on the board in the America’s cup".



Pictures - Carlo Borlenghi, Stefano Gattini, Vicent Bosch, Guido Trombetta, Carlos Lujan, ACM




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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

THE AMERICA’S CUP 2007 RACE THREE - THIS ONE WAS EARNED


With difficult weather conditions, the race was postponed for over two hours today and as the wind dropped to between 7 to 9 knots, the decision was made by the Race Committee to commence the start sequence


At the pre start both boats furiously tacked each other and a slow start by ETNZ meant it was Alinghi which crossed the line first

and took an early lead of some 60m

but ETNZ having sent one of their men up front to spot wind changes


found better breeze on the right side of the race course as they closed in on Alinghi



to build up a lead which their opponents seemed powerless to influence



despite the best efforts of the Swiss team.




ETNZ soon stretched their advantage to a staggering 446m until the approach to the leeward gate when a messy dropped spinnaker onboard ETNZ caused chaos


Hence it was Alinghi who took the lead going into the conclusion of the third leg


and must have thought they had it made when their advantage line went out to 91m



in the face of ETNZ’s misfortunes




However, in a final bid for victory even if they may have been staring defeat, ETNZ tacked to starboard and began to close the gap



which shrunk dramatically on the final run and see-sawed for a while


but in the dying breeze of late afternoon, ETNZ retook the lead



when both boats were within sight of the finish



to the joy



and relief



of their supporters as Alinghi must have wondered how they could have lost this one



as ETNZ arrived back in Port America’s Cup, having snatched back victory from the jaws of defeat.




Considering the manner of ETNZ's victory, many who who watched the events of the day must have wondered if this



would be the name on the America’s Cup of 2007



For the record then, after three races, it's Emirates Team New Zealand in the lead





Pictures - Carlo Borlenghi, Steffano Gattini, Vicent Bosch, Guido Trombetta, Carlos Lujan, ACM​



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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

THE AMERICA'S CUP RACE FOUR – ALL SQUARE OR IS IT?



On another tricky day of shifting conditions in the face of a light 8 to 10 knot wind bearing East North-East, Alinghi settled the score when they took the right hand start line which gave them the powerful position to be in during the course of the race.

Both boats executed their start correctly. It was just that the Swiss boat managed it better and had the right hand side at the start thus making an exit at full speed from the startline.



Then as both SUI-10 and NZL-92 paced each other, a favourable left hand shift gave the Kiwis some hope as they closed up on Alinghi.



However the Swiss tacked first and claimed the layline forcing ETNZ to follow them all the way up to the windward mark.



Through the first mark the Swiss boat led with the Kiwis in touch and in threatening mode with both teams searching for tell-tale signs of wind



until a bad hourglass wrap in the Kiwis' spinnaker during a gybe which allowed the Swiss to extend their advantage



Then as Alinghi in its’ approach to the bottom gate, moved over to the right and in sailing very low, let their sail drop allowing ETNZ to close up once again. For a while it seemed that this could be anyone’s day.



However when they moved back to the middle of the course, the Swiss maintained their two boatlength advantage going into a competitive tacking duel with the Kiwis.



Dean Barker launched a final attack down the final run but it was to no avail as the finishing line loomed larger with each manouver and the day ended up all square in the cup for both teams.







The result of the duel on the waters though is pending as a protest was lodged against Alinghi for breach of sailing rules in respect of an incident which occurred during post race scrutineering. AC rules require that mainsails should have the capability of being lowered without the need to send a man up the mast. Alinghi however sent Pieter van Nieuwenhuyzen up the mast to drop the mainsail. At this time of writing, it is believed though that the results will be allowed to stand.





Pictures - Carlo Borlenghi, Stefano Gattini, Guido Trombetta, Vicent Bosch, ACM, APN



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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

THE AMERICA’S CUP RACE FIVE – THESE THINGS HAPPEN


In the usual pre-start jousting, Dean Barker of ETNZ with a strategy in mind, forced SUI-100 to take to the right and from there dictated the approach to the startline so that NZL-92 would lead at the start while holding the Swiss boat in position.


At the start therefore, NZL-92 pulled ahead



Alighi came back at the Kiwis but ETNZ seemed to find another gear and led to the windward mark, opening the gap to 12 seconds.


It seemed that anything Alinghi came up with, NZL-92 could cover and this on a day when the conditions were expected to suit the Swiss boat.


Then disaster as a tear developed in the spinnaker and while the foredeck crew were preparing a replacement, the spinnaker blew apart

]​


To compound the misfortune of the Kiwis, when the new kite was being hoisted, it had not been securely attached and while the old cloth blew out like a flag, the new one became twisted



to the consternation of ETNZ’s supporters

Eventually the new cloth is in place while the original still flew in the wind


and was finally jettisoned


But all the time, SUI-100 drew closer and closer


By the time the crew of NZL-92 had their problems under control, SUI 100 was well ahead into a lead which was sufficient for them to control though the Kiwis drew to within two boatlengths during their chase as they fought back to recover ground


Eventually though, Alinghi completed the final run to finish 100m ahead of ETNZ to take an advantage of 1 going into the races at the weekend.




Sometimes, these things happen




Pictures - Carlo Borlenghi, Stefano Gattini, Vicent Bosch, Guido Trombetta, Carlos Lujan, ACM



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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

THE AMERICA’S CUP – CRUNCH TIME FOR TEAM NEW ZEALAND


On a difficult day of sea breezes and on the waters off Valencia, crowded with spectator boats,



the Swiss defender Alinghi came from behind to beat Emirates Team New Zealand on Saturday afternoon.


The Swiss team didn’t have it all their way though even if SUI 100 eeked out into an early lead in the race.



Halfway up the first beat, Emirates Team New Zealand squeezed up to the Defender and forced Alinghi to tack. When the boats converged, it was NZL 92, employing a successful gybe, that had gained on the left to lead around the first mark.


ETNZ held on to take the run, but on the second upwind leg it was Alinghi’s turn to find the shift,


making a gain on the right side of the race course.



The Kiwis tried to fend them off but couldn’t make the third one stick, and Alinghi grabbed a lead one again in this race.


The boats shadowed each other up to the windward mark, with Alinghi now 16 seconds ahead. Towards the bottom of the course ETNZ gave its’ supporters some hope as NZL-92 converged on SUI-100 and had pulled to within two boatlengths of Alinghi.



ETNZ strategist Terry Hutchinson went for one last split to see if the right-hand side would yield something special to get them in front, but it wasn’t to be so Alinghi it was that sailed across the finishing line 28 seconds ahead

Coming after the sad mishap of the previous day it was a difficult loss for Emirates Team New Zealand



who now need to win the next three races to take home the America’s Cup. It can hardly be a consolation for them to know that the Alinghi crew certainly know that they have been in a fight since this has been a closely fought series to date. The speed advantage of SUI-100 in heavy waters apart, both team tactics had displayed an abundance of tactical strength and determination in a contest where second place just will not do.






Pictures – Carlo Borlenghi, Stefano Gattini, Vicent Bosch, Guido Trombetta, ACM




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Discussion Starter · #13 ·


THE AMERICA’S CUP – DRAMA RIGHT TO THE FINISH


The Swiss Team Alinghi won the 32nd America’s Cup on Tuesday afternoon on the waters off Valencia in a final race of the competition that was a befitting end to what has been generally acclaimed as being the closest, most exciting America’s Cup in recent history. Following a close start, Emirates Team New Zealand went ahead


and spent much of the race ahead on the advantage line, but with Alinghi in a strong tactical position on the right hand side of the race course, the Kiwis were unable to get a big enough lead to cross ahead and switch sides when it mattered.


After making a successful pass on the first run and leading through the leeward gate by 14 seconds, the crew of NZL-92 again found it could not get across the bow of SUI 100 on the second upwind leg.

As both boats approached the top mark separated, the Kiwis, approaching from the left on port tack, faced a determined Swiss team steaming in on the advantageous starboard tack. Both boats went into a ‘dial-down’ and the Umpires penalised the Kiwis for not maintaining sufficient clearance from Alinghi. That, effectively, was the end of ETNZ’s race as Alinghi rounded the top mark and went into a lead of 12 seconds. Or was it?

Nothing is secure though till you cross the line however and an enormous windshift saw ETNZ reel in their opponents as Alinghi struggled to drop its spinnaker.


With the crew of the Swiss team struggling and their boat virtually motionless, NZL-92 sensed an opportunity and turned into tack to fulfil its penalty obligation.


It would have been a close run thing.


Sadly, New Zealand were denied as SUI-100 picked up again and managed to crossed the line, just one second ahead – one second.


Drama right to the very end.

As both teams made their way back to Port America's Cup, they were treated to a rapturous reception


In the final analysis, the scoreline of 5-2 in Alinghi’s favour probably did not do justice to the close battle between the teams out on the water. If Alinghi’s boat was faster in variable conditions, the Kiwis it seemed could counter it with tactics and were good in light winds. Throughout the competition, both teams contested fiercely and either could have won on many occasions. In the end though, you need luck to avoid broken spinnakers, torn sails and you also needed to have the better line on the course which Alinghi did today. That prevented Emirates Team New Zealand from taking an effective lead and indeed landed them with a penalty if not for which, the Cup would still have been alive beyond Tuesday afternoon.

With the ball in Alinghi’s court therfore, it is now up to the Swiss team to schedule the date and venue for the next time that battle resumes for the oldest trophy in sport.




Pictures – Carlo Borlenghi, Stefano Gattini, Guido Trombetta, Carlos Lujan, Jorge Andreu, ACM





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